Rohith Vemula, 26, a Dalit Phd student of University of Hyderabad who was rusticated three months ago after student groups clashed on the campus, committed suicide by hanging himself in a hostel room. Hailing from Guntur, Rohith was a second year research scholar in the Science and Technology department.
Rohith and four other students, members of Ambedkar Student Association, were rusticated by the UoH administration after they were involved in a series of clashes with ABVP members since last August over various issues. Based on complaints lodged by the ABVP members, an inquiry was conducted and the five students were rusticated for six months, but were allowed attend only academic sessions. They were also kicked out of their hostel rooms.
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In December last week, the five students had started relay hunger strike to protest against the University’s decision to not allow them to participate in any other activity on the campus, B Anji, a member of the Ambedkar Student Association said. The Ambedkar Assocation was also protesting against police checkings and presence of cops in the campus.